|Woman Thou Art Loosed|
|Directed by||Michael Schultz|
|Screenplay by||Stan Foster|
|Based on||Woman Thou Art Loosed|
by T. D. Jakes
Bishop T. D. Jakes
|Edited by||Billy Fox|
|Music by||Todd Cochran|
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures|
Woman Thou Art Loosed is a 2004 American drama film directed by Michael Schultz and written by Stan Foster. It was produced by Stan Foster and Reuben Cannon. It is the 44th film or series directed by Schultz and is adapted from the self-help novel by T. D. Jakes. The film tells the story of a young woman who must come to terms with a long history of sexual abuse, drug addiction, and poverty. It has been reported that the story was loosely based on the screenwriter's past relationship with a college girlfriend. A gospel stage play preceded the film.
The film centers around the life of fictional character Michelle Jordan. The film's narrative is set in present day where Michelle is currently in prison and is telling her life story to Bishop T.D. Jakes. Michelle is a young woman who we find early on has been previously released from prison after serving time due to her lifestyle of prostitution and drugs, and put on probation with strict guidelines. Michelle moves into a halfway house with her friend Nicole who is also trying to clean up her life after her husband left with their daughter due to Nicole's lifestyle. Michelle tells Bishop Jakes that her history of drug abuse and prostitution dates back to her childhood, as her mother (Cassey) was not very affectionate and caring to Michelle, and that would always bring home new boyfriends that Michelle would have to refer to as "uncle". One night while her mother is out, Michelle is raped by her mother's newest boyfriend, Reggie. Flashbacks show that Cassey found Michelle crying and bloodied in her closet a short time after the incident, but she refuses to believe Michelle's story. Michelle is sent to stay with Cassey's friend Twana that night, and Cassey confronts Reggie, who denies the incident and threatens to leave Cassey, who then allows Reggie to stay. Her mother's disbelief has caused a riff between her and her mother, and Michelle grows up to get involved with a pimp named Pervis who abuses her even further.
After Michelle settles at the halfway house, she begins to attend Revival, as part of a necessary activity she has to complete as part of her probation. She runs into old friends including Twana, and an old friend from childhood named Todd. Todd is a father recently divorced from a woman named Keisha, who everyone in high school stated had an odd physical appearance to Michelle. When the Bishop questions Michelle on Cassey's intentions, Michelle states she is unsure, and separate flashbacks show Cassey's life has not been pleasant either. Reggie is an alcoholic and drug addict who owes money to a local dealer, and constantly criticizes Cassey for going to Revival. After Reggie comes clean about his drug addiction, Cassey again asks if the incident with Michelle ever occurred, to which he continues to deny. After a negative run-in with Pervis at the halfway house, Nicole gives Michelle a handgun, should she ever run into trouble again. In the meantime, Todd reveals to Michelle that he has always had feelings for her.
One day, Michelle leaves to go to Revival. After arriving, she sees Reggie has accompanied Cassey to the service. Reggie claims he is there to apologize to the Lord for his sins, and as he tries to apologize and come toward Michelle for a hug of sorrow, Michelle (who is very enraged), shoots him with the handgun. We cut back to present day where it is revealed that Michelle is actually serving a death sentence for his murder. She admits to the Bishop that what she did was wrong, and asks the Bishop to tell her mother that she loves her, despite everything that has happened. The Bishop tells Michelle that he has been praying for her, and he says that she will be alright before he leaves. Throughout the film, when the flashbacks are cut back to present day, we see Michelle designing a small wooden house out of popsicle sticks. This house is a representation of Michelle as an individual. She initially questions putting a window on the house, but the Bishop gives her the symbolic nature of the window as an opportunity. He then questions where the door is, although Michelle had not placed one. After the Bishop's departure, it is shown in a new present day that Michelle's cell is now empty. This is to imply that Michelle's death sentence had been carried out. However, the film ends with a shot in the cell of the house, which now has a door on it as well. The credits also begin stating that although Michelle was a fictional character, this type of story does actually happen, and a website (www.womanthouartloosed.com) is displayed.
The film was nominated for two NAACP Image Awards, winning the award for Outstanding Independent or Foreign Film; Elise and Devine received nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards for Best Female Lead and Best Supporting Female, respectively.
Woman Thou Art Loosed was also awarded at the American Black Film Festival for Best Film.
A sequel, titled Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day, was released on April 13, 2012.